After a village is bombed, medical personnel and volunteers deal with the incoming wounded.
Location: Parade Ground - Edson Air Base
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Jungle Fever
Scene Number: 725
The Flight Line adjacent to the Parade Ground is teaming with activity as a litany of Raptors start landing one after the other. There was little time after hotfooting it out of the jungle but a call came in not moments before with a request to muster all available medical personal and volunteers from any and all departments to the parade grounds. The reason? Incoming wounded. The number is approximately two dozen, all in varying states of medical condition following a Centurian bombing of a nearby village. An emergency triage needs to be set up as the stretchers start rolling in, which is right about now.
The 'vacation' had to end sometime. The fresh air, the sun, the not-cramped conditions - Eli was really beginning to enjoy it all until the emergency call comes out. He's in the thick of the staging area for triage operations, directing volunteers who are carrying equipment. Other doctors are standing by in the clinic to take the most serious cases, but first they need to be sorted.
Calliope is in the sky, flying one of the incoming Raptors. Her bird hovers, waiting for its turn to touch down, but she's on the ground quick as she can once it comes. She lands carefully, as if trying to put the bus down as delicately as possible. A Raptor is not a delicate beast, though. Once she's on the ground, her ECO gets the door open so the off-loading can begin.
Aldrich shows up, because volunteers were called for and also... Well sometimes it's good to have a Chaplain on hand when there are wounded. In any case, he's limping slightly but trying to hide it as he makes his way towards the triage area at a fast clip. "Eli!" he calls on the approach, as soon as he's close enough to be heard. "What can I do?"
One incident-free trip into the jungle. Is it that much to ask for? Apparently so. Calliope's Raptor has had a variety of noises in it, on the way back -- groans of pain, whispered curses, and the like -- but amongst them was a quiet, mumbled reassurance from one Private (First Class!) Lulezim, to a wounded companion he's holding upright: "Yer fine. We got this. Yer fine." When the bird touches down, his attention snaps immediately to the door, counting down the infinity of seconds as the hatch opens.
A medic is scurrying around each station, handing tags to whomever happens to be right there regardless of their medical expertise because all personnel received some type of first aid training in basic. "Remember!" She yells above the din, "Green is minor - those are your walking wounded, yellow is delayed - serious but non life threatening, red is immediate and black is morgue - no pulse, no breathing. Life before limb!"
The hatch of Calliope's Raptor opens as quick as it can. Which seems painfully slow, in situations like this. But it gets there. The ECO aboard starts a shaky post-flight check with as much professionalism as the LTJG can muster. There's blood everywhere. Even the air personnel aren't free of it, some of it having gotten on Calliope's flight suit during the on-loading. She looks even paler than usual, and wide-eyed, beneath her helmet, as she gets out of her seat to disembark. "Umm. Hi." That to Stefan. Deep breath, and she manages a slightly more professional. "Do you need any help getting them off?" Those who can't walk.
Eli is known for being calm in a crisis. He remains so as he surveys the situation. When Aldrich approaches, he reaches out to touch the chaplain's shoulder. "Why don't you handle the black tags?" He squeezes, gives him a reassuring look, then steps back. "If you're not sure of status or have a patient who can't be moved, raise your hand and call for a doctor!"
In the cartoons, people near explosions come out with artful smudges and charmingly wild hair. Stefan's face is caked with dingy, gritty grey dust and frosted with little (someone-else's-)blood sprinkles. A couple rivulets of sweat are cut through the dust, dribbling down from above the rim of the helmet, and a tear-track curves out from each red, irritated eye. He stares at Calliope with too-wide eyes for a couple seconds before her words register. "Uh. Yeh. Yeh. Here. You okay? Help me-" He starts pulling his comrade to his feet. Said comrade is limp, and his side is wet with blood from the midsection down. He might still be alive. Maybe.
The casualties for the most part seem to be civilian judging by their clothes and the local vernacular they're using when they cry and wail, some people stumbling into the staging area just looking for family members or friends. There is a woman holding a bloody rag to her head where her eye used to be, a man rolled over onto his side on a stretcher because he's throwing up from the pain of a broken back, and so many people and they just seem to keep coming some by their own volition and the rest being carried. "I've got a leg!" A marine yells, holding the limb above his head which didn't happen to match anyone that was on his particular Raptor when it came in. Already three black tags have been handed out.
"I'm good! I'm totally good!" That was a little high-pitched and not really officer-level authoritative, surrounded by the exploded remnants of Colonial people as she is. Calliope muddles through, though. She nods to Stefan, and extends an arm to help support his comrade. She'll follow his lead in getting the man - and the string of wounded that need to follow - off the Raptor and into medical hands.
Aldrich nods grimly, and takes a deep breath. "I'll pray for... Well, I'll pray," he offers, then shades his eyes from the sun to look over toward the incoming Raptors. Then he claps Eli on the shoulder and says, "Signal if you need anything." And then he's headed toward the chaos to do his part, occasionally pausing along the way to offer a word of encouragement to the living. For what little good it probably does.
Eli has been in a situation like this before. Even the air, thick as it is, feels familiar in its heavy heat. He moves through the triage situation quickly, but not rushing. If someone is particularly bad and needs immediate help, he forcefully, but calmly calls for a stretcher. His nickname isn't Cool Hands Cadmus just because he's a cold fish. He looks up to keep an eye on Aldrich, to make sure he's not overwhelmed, but his primary concern is the parade square full of patients.
On one of the last Raptors to arrive, Sergeant Miko Kovac emerges from the hatch with a small girl roughly the age of eight clinging to his chest. Her grubby arms are wrapped around his neck but her legs dangle limply, the medic needing to hold her up with arms crossed underneath her. "A little help!" He calls when he enters the parade grounds, sweat beading up on his forehead from the exertion of toting the child and all his gear. Twisting this way and that, he looks for an open cot and when he calls out again, his voice cracks. "Little help!"
Calliope is Totally Chill, and Stefan is Not At All Freaked Out. Together, they fight crime. Or carry wounded toward the medics, at least. "Move, MOVE-!" he barks at the momentary logjam on the way out of the Raptor, as someone barely able to walk tries to get out on their own. His shouting doesn't make anyone move faster. Everyone is probably as overwhelmed with everything as him, and he's several pips short of a proper Sergeant Voice. "Shit, can you- Sir, there's someone on the ramp- grab them, I've got Mills."
Calliope blinks at Stefan. It takes her a moment to realize what he's asking. Things are not penetrating her brain properly at the moment. But she finally gets it, and gives him another shaky nod, before stumbling toward Miko. "Uh. Hey, Butch." She tries to flash him a smile, but it utterly fails. "I'm not carrying that much weight. I can...my gods..." The last murmured, strangled and under her breath, as she looks at the child.
Aldrich doesn't seem overwhelmed. He has a job to do and he's doing it in his own way, with a significant amount less shouting than the others. In the middle of organizing the handling of the black tags... little more than a quick prayer and getting them out of the way of the living, for now... he spots Miko and frowns. "Miko!" he calls. "Eli. That way." He points in the proper direction, because apparently contrary to appearances he's been keeping track of where the doc is, even while he deals with bodies and the occasional associated loved one.
Eli turns when he hears his name. He looks to where Aldrich is pointing and takes in the scene of the marine and the girl. "Miko, bring her here." He directs him to an open cot that's just been set down on the edge of triage. He moves there himself, stopping for a brief moment to check on a tagged patient. He checks the man's pulse, then shakes his head. "Aldrich..." He swaps out the red tag for a black one that he produces from his pocket.
Miko jerks away from Calliope, putting his shoulder between him and the Pilot despite having just asked for help. His hand cradles the little girl's head to his shoulder, more importantly covering her ear. "She has the /fever/." He hisses out the warning before Calli or anyone else can reach for her. "Let me. I just...I just need a place to lay her down. I can't carry her anymore." The creature in his arms whimpers as Miko stumbles forward towards Eli, trying to get his legs to work beneath him again.
Despite Stefan having his hands full, an elderly woman with some sort of organic shrapnel sticking out of her side comes up and grabs his arm. "Have you seen my Pookie?" But when she starts to describe him, it starts to sound more like a dog than a husband. It becomes apparent that Aldrich is a Chaplain and people start calling him from the various cots, voices begging for coins for the ferryman or to confess their acts of hubris because they are sure they are going to die from that scratch on their left big toe.
A fully-kitted Marine's worth of (maybe-not-)deadweight versus a fully-kitted Marine's worth of adrenaline. FIGHT. Stefan staggers one way, then whirls the other at the jerk to his sleeve. "I gotta-" Old woman. Asking about... child? No, must be a grandchild. No, dog? Wait. Seriously, a /dog/? And is that a branch sticking out of her? "Ma'am, I- no, ma'am, there's-" Pointless. But polite. His momma taught him something, at least. He looks around, seeing dozens of people, all alike, all going in every other direction but his, and hollars, "Stretcher, we need a stretcher over here!"
Cate was on the same Raptor Miko was, but a little slower to get off. Splattered with blood from a spurting artery and dust from having crawled around under a half-collapsed wall to help pull out a victim, she's now carrying a stretcher with another marine. "Got a red tag here. Multiple shrapnel wounds to the chest and abdomen, leg gone at the thigh." The medic is outwardly calm, but her expression reflects a quiet horror at the casualties. She glances over when she hears Stefan's voice.
Calliope stares at Miko. Fever? The implications dawn on her, slowly and terribly. "Frak." It's muttered barely above a whisper. She takes a step back that nearly makes her stumble. She doesn't exactly flee, but she doesn't argue leaving that to him. She looks around rather numbly for a way to make herself useful. There are still wounded to carry off the Raptors, so she goes back to the one she was flying to help with the stretchers. She doesn't run off to find a place to cry just yet. That'll be a little later.
Eli gently shoves a few people out of the way (uninjured ones) to clear a path for Miko to set the girl down on the cot. "Is she injured or just sick?" he asks, while also making a visual assessment of the marine himself. He starts to check the girl's vitals. As a doctor, he doesn't have the luxury of backpedalling away from the fever.
Aldrich starts toward Eli's patient, and is stopped by a grasping hand on his knee, a young woman apparently in the category of terrified people thinking they're going to die. Lucky for him, there's a convenient color-coding system to help him know who genuinely needs his attention and who gets a murmured few words of comfort and a promise to return... Even so, pretty soon the needs of the living are taking precedence over the dead. "No, I'm sorry. I haven't seen your wife. What's her name?" "The doctors will be here soon, if you'll sit here, you need to keep pressure on--" "I'm running out of coins right now, but everyone who needs one will get one, I promise..." And on it goes.
Two privates from Support who typically work in the mess hall skitter over with a stretcher to Stefan. Like a BSG version of Laurel and Hardy, they are running side by side instead of one in front of the other, and accidentally bowl over one of the medics without even slowing down. When they skid to a stop in front of the marine, it then becomes an argument as to whether they should take the limp man that Stefan is bracing up, or the lady with the new branch limb.
Miko barely has the energy to lay her out gently in the cot before he reels back a few steps, teetering on his heels but manages to not topple over. "I was in the forward team, sent to check out the village. Found her and started an IV in the field and then the bombs hit." He sounds a little delirious, but he's gritting his teeth against bubbling feeling and trying to concentrate. "Just the fever. I shielded her from the roof caving in." Thankfully his rucksack took the brunt of the damage, and the roof was just thatch if the pieces sticking in his hair are any indication.
Cate leaves her patient in the red-tag area with the other marine there still holding the IV bag. "Keep squeezing that 'till it's all in," Cate commands, then comes over to where Stefan is standing. "Hey Luz," she greets, her voice a little wobbly. "Is he breathing?" It's kind of a rhetorical question, as she goes to check the pulse and breathing of the guy that Stefan is holding. Granny gets a brief glance, but she's walking and talking so unconscious-guy gets her attention first.
The marine that's been traveling from station to station carrying a severed limb must have heard Cate's assessment of her patient and he starts running towards the red-tagged area triumphantly crowing, "I'VE GOT THE LEG!" Too bad the one he's toting is clearly female and Cate's patient was male.
You can't forget you're carrying someone, can you? All signs point to /maybe/, because Stefan staggers a little to readjust the limp Marine he's got his arm around, even as he's gesturing the branch-impaled grandmother toward the stretcher. "No, I got 'im- take 'er- fraksakes, look at 'er-" C'mon, guys. She has /a branch sticking out of her/. His dust-cake face swivels toward the sound of Cate's voice, and for a second she's subjected to the same too-wide stare he levelled at Calliope. "He- yeah, sure, he's gunna be okay, we just gotta-" He's already starting to turn toward the stretches, as Cate's still busy taking the limp Marine's pulse.
Eli looks at Miko with the critical eye of a doctor. Then he stands up, sets hands on his shoulders and pushes him gently towards a cot. No asking in triage, apparently. He then proceeds to make an examination of the marine. A nurse comes up behind him to check on the girl. "Fever. Take her to quarantine please." Still calm as anything. "Don't worry, we'll take care of her. Aldrich..." He tries to flag down the Chaplain. "Spread the word to the staff that some of these patients might be sick on top of their injuries. We need to separate them so the people with compromised immune systems don't get it."
Miko sort of numbly plops down on the cot he's directed too, aided by the gravitational force on his heavy kit when his knees go limp. He's not injured, at least not on a visual examination, but he's holding up his hands with gloved palms towards Eli. "Stop touching me, godsdammit!" He shouts - actually shouts - at his superior. It's perhaps then that it can be seen: just a small triangular shaped flap torn open on the index finger of one of his gloves. And a gash beneath it.
"She'll keep for a minute," Cate declares, checking on the poor marine Stefan's carrying. Her grim frown conveys the prognosis even before her words do. "Luz, buddy, he's gone. Let this guy take him over there -" There being the temporary morgue type area with the other black tags, "And you can help me with the lady here, okay?" The guy shouting about the leg causes Cate to look over thataway, squinting at the limb he's holding up. It doesn't take a genius to see it's the wrong size and it's been severed at the wrong place. "Wrong leg, Ashley," she calls over in irritation. Then, quieter so only Stefan can here, she mumbles, "Dumbass."
"We'll know more when--" Aldrich breaks off and looks around, catching Eli's request with a little nod and vague salute to show he caught it. Before he acts on it, he turns back to the elderly gentleman he was talking to, guiding him back to a cot where he was supposed to be sitting. "We'll take good care of you. I promise," he murmurs, and once that's taken care of, he sets off, making the rounds to various volunteers to spread the word. His path takes him by Cate and Stefan, and he leans in to murmur to the doctor, "Eli asked me to warn everyone that some of the patients may have the Fever. So take precautions." He's about to move on when he hesitates, looking at the limp fellow Stefan is holding up. "Should I--?" His glance goes to Stefan, uncertainly.
Eli remains more or less unruffled, even when he's getting yelled at. He eyes the wound on his hand, pulls out a green tag and sticks it on Miko. "If that's your only wound, clean it, drop your kit, then come help with triage." He backs up, then turns to continue his work. He stops to check with a nurse to make sure the little girl has gotten off to the quarantine area all right. Someone flags him down, where a man is bleeding profusely. He gets to work to try and stabilize the man enough to move him into surgery.
Carrying around the wrong leg can really take it's toll on a person, especially seeming how its actual owner seems to be no where to be found. Perhaps its the distinct possibility that the woman got left behind in the carnage that makes the marine find a place to sit down, prop the leg up on its shoe, hug it. And cry.
"Huh?" Gone? But that implies /dead/, and the Marine that Stefan is carrying is certainly not dead. "Nah, he's-" Mills is given a little jostle with his shoulder -- c'mon, man, speak up, they're saying you're /dead/ -- as Stefan ducks his head to look at his face. The Private (First Class!) stares at the pale face for a couple seconds before saying, only, "Oh." He looks to Cate, then Aldrich, a stubborn frown forming beneath the caked dust. "Ain't nothin' for 'im," he mutters to the chaplain. "You help Doc here with the lady." He stoops to throw Mills over his shoulder, staggering for the makeshift morgue.
"It was a.." Doesn't matter. Eli is off and Miko just sits there for a moment sort of stooped over his hands looking at the green tag on his fatigues. There is some sort of resolute nod before he flips open his kit and digs out foil pack that he rips open with his teeth before peeling off his gloves. The wound takes no time to clean, hardly requires a bandaid and then he's pulling on a fresh set - make that two - of gloves before he steps into the fray to do his job.
Cate nods solemnly to Aldrich's murmured warning. But then Stefan is wandering off, and she calls after him, "Luz..." But it's a weak plea, and she doesn't really know what to say after that, so she just lets it go with a sigh. "Chaplain," she offers in somber greeting. "You want to..." She waves a hand after Stefan, uncertain what Aldrich wants to help with.
Eli looks up, looks around, then spots Cate. "Rhodes! I've got internal hemorrhaging over here. I could use a hand." He says that calmly, but the blood that's staining his white lab coat tells a different story. There's a medic currently trying to assist him, but from the looks of the mess, he could use someone with more experience.
Aldrich a shadow passes over Aldrich's expression, but it's just a momentary thing before it's banished, and he glances at Cate. "There's nothing I can do for him if he doesn't want my help." he replies, apologetically. He glances past her, and adds, "And there's a marine over there hugging a leg. I better get back to work. You've got a handle on this, I presume?" he gestures to branch lady, but doesn't wait for an answer before moving off again.
Slowly things start to calm down, which is to say that they are on the last patients to be sorted and the red-tags have already started to be filtered off to the clinic for surgery, burn control, and wound treatment. Yellow and green will be treated out here in the 'field' hospital until there is room for them inside if they still need to be seen or their injuries progress. Stefan with Mills marks a total of eight fatalities that can't be considered the final tally until the rest, such as Eli's hemorrhaging patient, are on the road to recovery.
Cate chews her lip for a moment, nodding to Aldrich. "Yeah," she agrees with a reluctant frown. Leg-hugging Ashley gets a concerned glance. "Good luck with that." She hears Eli calling her name, and turns to the Laurel and Hardy support techs. "Move her over there with the red tags." Nevermind that one of them outranks her - she's bossing them around with a familiar authority. She moves over to Eli, changing gloves along the way. "What've you got?"
Eli rattles off a medical description of the mess of the man he's trying to stop from bleeding out. The layman's version is, a major artery has been severed and he thinks another artery is damaged, too. He needs someone to help staunch the bleeding so the man doesn't die before they make it a few hundred meters to the clinic. He needs another set of skilled hands he doesn't need to direct. "Let's see what we can do."
The morgue isn't a corpse-heap. Not /exactly/. But Stefan still seems to hesitate near the feet of one laid-out body, shifting his grip on the Marine slung over his shoulders, before he struggles to set Mills down and lay him out. He takes a step back, clapping a dusty-bloody hand to the back of his neck and rubbing there as he turns around. Doctors are doctoring. The little granny looking past the branch sticking out of her for the sake of her doggo, is getting proper attention. Order is settling over the chaos. Kinda. If you squint just the right way.
Cate is quick to jump in. While Eli is fiddling with one of the arteries, Cate takes the other. It's a procedure she's unfortunately all-too-familiar with. It's also a procedure that would have Colonel Collins reading her the riot act for playing doctor instead of medic. Fortunately for Cate, the Colonel is still on Galactica. "You were right," she tells Eli, a little breathlessly. "The shrapnel got that one too. Got it clamped off." Now they just need to get him to surgery quick.
Aldrich is all busy with Leg Marine, even as things are calming down. He settles down to kneel next to the marine, and touches him on the arm, tentatively. "Will you let me take the remains?" he requests, quietly. If he's shocked or overcome by the prospect of handling a severed leg, he doesn't show it, but maybe it's just that his attention is on the crying marine, instead.
"Right, good..." says Eli as he focuses on the task ahead of him. "Good, yeah, that'll hold. Get him into surgery. Now's the part where I magically transform from triage doctor to surgeon." And maybe wash all the blood off, first. For some of the medics and the volunteers, their job is done. His is only just beginning. He stands up and shrugs off his now pinkish lab coat. "Thanks," he says to Cate, before he moves off at a trot to wash up before jumping back into the fray.
Stefan doesn't realize he's standing there, staring a hundred yards off into no where, until a pair of medical staff crosses in front of him with another black-tagged body for the makeshift morgue. He blinks and takes a quick step back, quick enough to wobble, then gives the entire Parade Grounds a frown as if he's just now seeing it for the first time. Finally, some remote corner of his brain kicks in and he turns to leave. Shower. Kit repair. A once-over to make sure his own spleen didn't escape. Routine makes everything better, right? Right.
Cate nods briskly to Eli. "Don't forget your cape," she deadpans. There's no stopping to get cleaned up here. She transfers their patient over to another set of medics to get him wheeled off into surgery. Aldrich and Ashley get a brief glance, and then she's moving back to the granny with the branch in her side, crouching down to make sure she's doing all right.